Type 2 diabetes has been in the news a lot this week with Paula Deen’s announcement that she has the disease. She joins 25.8 million Americans who have type 2 diabetes, a number that has been growing along with the number of overweight and obese Americans.
If you have type 2 diabetes you know that you can manage it with diet, exercise, weight management and medications to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. That’s important to lower risk of complications including cardiovascular disease.
It’s an important part of lowering your risk for cancer, too, because changes that occur in the body due to diabetes and high blood sugar can also promote cancer development. Research shows a connection between type 2 diabetes and risk of several cancers, including colon, endometrium and postmenopausal breast.
The good news is you can take action to lower risk for both diabetes complications and cancer.
Adding fiber-rich foods to your diet is a good way to help meet your weight-loss goals and add cancer protection to your plate. This week’s Health-e-Recipe for Vegetable Stew combines a medley of hearty vegetables with brown rice in a delicious one-pot stew.
Carrots and zucchini, sautéed together with tomatoes provide vitamins A, C and K and are rich in carotenoids that may help lower risk for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and lung. Foods containing the compound beta-carotene (like carrots) may also help protect against esophageal cancer. Research has also found that lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, could provide protection against prostate cancer.
Eating a diet high in fiber (which occurs naturally in vegetables, whole grains, beans and fruit) may protect women against breast cancer, according to one of the largest analyses of the literature published today online in the advance issue of Annals of Oncology.
The research was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund as part of AICR/WCRF’s Continuous Update Project (CUP) (pdf), an ongoing review of cancer prevention research.
The study found that for every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily – slightly less than a cup of beans – the risk of breast cancer was 5 percent lower. Consuming 20 grams of fiber daily would mean a 10 percent lower risk, and so on.